Cronkite Alum Returns to Native Country to Help Launch New WaPo Bureau

Wednesday, July 28


By Lisa Diethelm

Bryan Pietsch, a 2019 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, has made his way back to South Korea for the first time since he was a baby — this time as a reporter for The Washington Post.

Pietsch joins two other reporters at The Post’s recently launched Seoul Hub, where they will cover breaking news. It is part of the news organization’s plan to expand its global coverage.

Pietsch, who began reporting in mid-July, said he’s excited to be back in his native country, even though he was too young when he left to remember it. He was adopted as a baby and raised in Minnesota.

“I’m really happy to be in Korea since I was born here, so it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “One of the cool parts about being here at The Post is they’re just setting up this hub here in Asia, so it’s really cool to be a part of something new — building it from the ground up.”

After graduating from Cronkite, Pietsch launched his career at Business Insider in New York and Reuters in Washington, D.C. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was based in Denver as a general assignment reporter for The New York Times’ Express Desk.

While a student at Cronkite, Pietsch reported for ASU Student Life, The State Press and the Washington, D.C. bureau of Cronkite News, where he covered borderlands, money and just about any other story he could find, according to Steve Crane, the director of Washington operations and professor of practice at the Cronkite School.

Crane said Pietsch was a fearless reporter who was especially adept at finding Arizona angles for his stories, and he “got stuff done. The guy’s good.”

“He’s not afraid to tackle a story. Whether it’s a little on the edge or whether it’s out of his comfort zone, he’s going to go do it because he wants to get the story,” Crane said.

For now, Pietsch is adjusting to South Korea: the heat, the COVID-19 restrictions, and the language. He said that, once he is settled, he looks forward to familiarizing himself with the people, food and mountains.

“It’s just kind of been a big adjustment. So far, I haven’t really had time to absorb it,” he said. “But I’m excited to be at The Post. It’s a great institution; I’m happy to be a part of it. It’s really weird because I graduated not even two years ago, and so it’s really cool to be doing this.”